Tsipras meets resistance
Resistance to the austerity plans is growing in Greece after the agreement with the Euro Group. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will presumably need votes from the opposition to push the agreement through parliament. The creditors are humiliating Greece and stipulating unreasonable demands, some commentators write. Others praise the agreement as a chance to get Greece back on the road to recovery.
The Eurozone's unrealistic dictates
The Eurozone's demands of Athens are unacceptably harsh, the liberal daily Sme criticises: "To receive a new loan Greece must stop global warming (preferably as early as Tuesday), and find cures for Aids, cancer and heart attacks. And it must vote for Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest for the next 60 years. Of course that's just a joke that's making the rounds on Twitter. But there is an element of truth to it: at the end of the negotiation marathon Greece will have no choice but to subject itself to the will of Germany. ... The Eurozone is starting to behave like a debt collector who comes into the house to confiscate the last grain after a bad harvest. If Syriza manages to shoulder this burden it would be nothing short of a miracle. No one is forced to agree with Prime Minister Tsipras on any point. But who comes after him? The Greek neo-Nazis?"
Europe has taken away Greece's sovereignty
Europe has deprived Greece of its sovereignty and is treating it like a little child, Lucio Caracciolo writes in anger in the centre-left daily La Repubblica: "Greece has ceased to exist as an independent state. What remains are the Greeks, who are called on not only to make devastating economic sacrifices but also to suffer the humiliation of being treated like minors not allowed to take care of their own affairs. Custody is formally being handed to Brussels and Frankfurt, but in effect to Berlin. A strict father who was tempted not to recognise the child, but eventually convinced that it would be better to act as if Greece retained a modicum of Hellenic sovereignty. At least for now, to prevent the declaration of the death of the state under its supervision from causing the collapse of the euro, and thus of the European Union."
Athens needs a new government now
After the new deal reached on Monday it looks like the leftist alliance Syriza will break up. The conservative daily Kathimerini believes Greece now needs a new government: "Tsipras is doing what's right for the country but he is sacrificing his party. The only solution is a new government that will take on the task of ensuring that Greece remains in the common currency. Ideological and other differences need to be set aside in the name of national interests, which, after all, are also supported by the majority of the population. The developments over the weekend have made it more than clear who has a true sense of responsibility in the government and who does not. Now it is up to Greece's partners and lenders to give the country the breathing room it needs to make things work."
Tsipras has only made things worse
The austerity measures demanded of Athens in exchange for the new bailout are all the more drastic because Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hesitated for so long, writes journalist Ioana Dogioiu Ene on the Romanian news website Ziare: "Tsipras has turned out to be an adventurer who has steered his country into a much more difficult situation than that it was in when he took office in January. If he had chosen the path of sustainable growth, the price paid by Greece would probably have been lower. … But now the Eurozone countries are making a necessary example of Greece. … It's unclear whether Tsipras still has a political future. How can he explain to his people that they now face an even tougher fate than the one they rejected in the referendum? … If he was convinced of the need for profound reforms, why didn't he implement them during his first months in office?"
Buying time for an orderly Grexit
Like the agreements that preceded it the latest compromise in the Greek crisis only serves to buy time, the centre-left daily Tages-Anzeiger comments: "To maintain the illusion of a later solution, predictions that always turned out to be far too optimistic have been made with reference to Greece. The intention contained in the agreement of obtaining 50 billion euros in revenues through the sale of Greek state assets under the supervision of the creditors fit in with this. The sales plans formulated so far have hardly achieved anything apart from greatly embarrassing the Greeks. The true purpose of the agreement is probably once more simply to buy time - this time however to prepare for Greece's orderly exit from the Eurozone."
A deal with an unpleasant aftertaste
The agreement between Athens and its sponsors is on the whole a good thing but the way Germany imposed its will was wrong, the liberal daily Wiener Zeitung comments: "The 'deal', even if it is being described as a 'coup', covers both sides of Greece's needs: more money (and time) and reforms to increase buying power in the country. The politically unsavoury aspect is the way Germany approached the issue politically. It's not quite clear whether German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble really had to give such an exaggerated performance of the Teutonic villain. Nor was it wise not to let France play a stronger role, because now the Greek agreement smacks unpleasantly of the Germans always being the smart alecks and not tolerating anyone by their side in the Eurozone. Not allowing a Grexit was absolutely right. But the Germans are terrible in the role of directors of the Eurozone."
Who's Faust and who Mephistopheles?
In the last few days of the Greek debt dispute it's been hard to tell who is in the role of Doctor Faust and who in that of Mephistopheles, the centre-left daily Dnevnik concludes: "The question isn't what price one would be ready to sell his soul for, but who has in fact sold it. The Eurozone, which together with the ECB and the IMF has betrayed trust in established regulations in order to maintain the outward vitality of the EU project? Greece, which is working together with the criminals to prepare an injection of funds that was rejected in the referendum? Or is Mephistopheles the spirit behind the capital that gives with one hand and takes with the other? Are the imposed reforms a political attempt to let neoliberalism win out against the welfare state in the EU?"